By Carol Montparker
Those intensely own and perceptive essays discover the author's existence as a pianist - practising, acting, educating and writing - yet they can be the recommendations and reflections of any artist. They recount the demanding situations, rewards and joys of her reviews in her selected career.
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More often heard than seen, he is relatively plain, with speckled breast and umber plumage. But his full-throated, intermittent phrases, delicately ornamented, slightly and infinitely varied, render me a captive audience; I stand motionless wherever I am while his song reaches me over the trees and across the green expanse of lawn from his podium branch. No mere grackling, clucking, chirping, or whistling of ordinary birds, this fluting is what many years ago I told my little girl, Kim, to strive for in her music-making.
Every now and then there blows in through your window opening onto the garden, a breath of the music of Chopin who is at work in his room, and it mingles with the song of the nightingales and the scent of roses. 3 Similar sensations have made me grateful to have a view of the garden and woods from my piano which likewise brings energy from the out-of-doors directly into my music-making. Just substitute my thrush for Chopin's nightingale. As no recital about nature and music would be complete without the Impressionists, I programmed Debussy's Reflets dans l'eau.
I might simply be inspired by the beauty of a painting or landscape and, nourished by that beauty, feel motivated to make music. Or, more specifically, visual imagery will give me a handle on some music that might otherwise have evaded me. For example, in Chopin's B minor sonata, the E major triplet section of the third movement didn't "click" until I beheld a painting by an artist-friend, Stan Brodsky. His beautiful work depicted the water's edge and tidal flows, and the painting uncannily cast light on the music.
A Pianist's Landscape by Carol Montparker